CLERMONT, Fla. -- Alisa Benson (Middletown, R.I.) hit an infield single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to score Alexis Boswell (Amesbury, Mass.) and give the Mustangs a 6-5 win over Concordia Moorehead in their 2017 opener at The Spring Games.
It's the first time that the Mustangs (1-1) have opened the season with a win since 2010, when they beat Castleton 9-4 in Coco Beach.
GAME 1: Mount Ida 6, Concordia Moorhead 5
After scoring twice in the opening frame and extending that lead to 3-0 into the fifth inning, the Mustangs nearly had the game ripped away from them thanks to a five-run Cobbers fifth inning, but they responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to re-tie the game at five and then loaded the bases with one out to set the table for Benson's game-winning single to second base.
First baseman Kaitlyn Muhlenforth (Bohemia, N.Y.) was on base four times for Mount Ida, with two hits and two free passes. She collected the first RBI of the season when she singled through the right side to score Hayley Microulis (Pawtucket, R.I.), putting Mount Ida up 2-0 after Lucianna Medici (Riverside, R.I.) had reached on a fielding error, stole third and scored the first run of the year on a wild pitch.
Medici scored another unearned run in the fourth inning, but the Cobbers took advantage of four Mount Ida errors and scored five unearned runs in the top of the fifth, with the big blow coming on a two-out bases loaded three-run double by Madi Veith (Baxter, Minn.).
The Mustangs tied the game on an RBI single by Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) and a ground out by Benson in an inning that was set up by Jenni Jackson's (Marlborough, Mass.) double to right center, putting two runners in scoring position with just one out.
Handzel started out her senior season with a complete game victory, allowing just five hits and striking out five. Handzel pounded the zone, throwing 77 of her 117 pitches for strikes.
On the other side, control was an issue for Cobbers starter Kelly Riordan (Windom, Minn.), as she walked five batters and hit two Mustangs, finding the strike zone on just 53 of 116 tosses.
Game 2: Finlandia 11, Mount Ida 0, 5 innings
Kassandra Avila (El Monte, Calif.) tossed a no-hitter with just one walk and five strikeouts and the Lions scored eight times in the top of the fifth inning to hand Mount Ida their first loss of the year and improve to 7-6 overall.
Mount Ida's only base-runner was Benson, who took a walk and stole second but was stranded in the bottom of the third.
Back to back doubles by Serena Jaime (Barstow, Calif.) and Makenna Lloyd (Venice, Fla.) got the Lions on the board in the second inning, and they added single runs in each of the next two frames before exploding for eight runs on three hits, two walks and two hit by pitches.
Lloyd finished off the rally with a single to left field to score two Finlandia players after Avila had helped her own cause with an RBI base knock to start the inning.
Jayleen Bonilla (Oxnard, Calif.) and Denia Bent (Cape Coral, Fla.) each drove in two runs and Bent also scored twice herself.
Muhlenforth tossed four and a third innings, striking out five batters but also walking five and giving up seven earned runs.
Freshman Jessica Weiss (Great Neck, N.Y.) saw her first collegiate action in relief for the Mustangs.
Day Two at The Spring Games will see the Mustangs face against New England College at 1:00 PM and Juniata College at 3:30 PM. Both of those games will be played at Sleepy Hollow Field Complex.